I remember my mom saying this, often, as she read the Sunday morning paper. It was usually in response to one of my “I wish I was like Jeanie! (from I dream of Jeanie) Then I could clean in one second, I could do anything really, make us supper, get from here to school… in one second! I wish I could do that…” My voice would trail off and I’d be imagining it, with a far away blissful look on my face.
My mom would roll her eyes and mutter “If wishes were fishes…” I’d turn and look at her, annoyed she pulled me out my imagination-mode and wonder what that tone in her voice was. I heard that phrase from my mom so much that I thought that Was the entire saying. I couldn’t figure out what it meant but shrugged it off and assumed it was some grown up thing that some day I would be wise enough to understand.
My head was mostly in the clouds in my early years. Any tv show or movie that had magical happenings going on, I was glued to. Happily escaping into worlds where anything was possible, dreams came true and everything could be fixed so that everyone would be happy again… That’s where I wanted to reside.
When I couldn’t fix something in life or I was feeling blue, I’d go to my daydream world. I’d watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, Pete’s Dragon and others movies where magic helped fix the situation and everyone found happiness at the end of the story.
I’m much wiser and older now. I understand and know what that tone was in my mom’s voice and now my need to fix things and hope for a happy ending has been replaced with wiser and more realistic goals and dreams.
A year before my dad died, he and I were talking our usual philosophical and hopeful ideas on how the world could be better “if only…”, when he responded after big sigh “As the saying goes, If wishes were fishes, no one would starve…” in a somewhat melancholy tone. “Oh my gosh!” I burst out loud “…so that’s how the saying ends?” My dad looked surprised, chuckled and replied “Yes.. Why?” I told him about how mom would ALWAYS say it to me and how I never until that moment heard the full quote. My dad laughed. “Well, now you have, my dear.”
As I write this, I’m unrealistically wishing I could give him and my mom a hug right now. Sometimes daydream-time is still the best time for me. I don’t have any unrealistic hopes anymore, now that I’m grown up. I know there is no magic spell or magic power that can make my wishes come true. But sometimes, daydreaming about seeing them again or being able to tell them how much I appreciate everything again, well, it helps slowly heal the absence of their love, smiles and energy that only they could bring to the world.
These are musings and random memories from those happy and poignant years, to the current day.
Have a beautiful day 💕.